Improved Santander pay offer out to ballot

Telecoms & Financial Services, Santander

Members across Santander are being urged to accept a revised pay deal following a breakthrough in talks that followed the overwhelming rejection of the company’s initial ‘final’ offer by members in Santander UK and Santander Operations.

Following that deal’s rejection by 70 per cent of those participating in a consultative ballot – and its equally emphatic acceptance by a much smaller group of employees in Santander Technology and Produban – both sides returned to the negotiating table with the union intent on securing a single company-wide settlement which provides a fairer deal for everybody in 2019.

Prior to the initial ballot, the CWU had warned company negotiators that the deal was likely to go down in Santander UK on account of the fact that more than 1,400 workers would have received no consolidated increase at all on account of technical factors surrounding salary scale maximums that do not apply in the San Tech subsidiary.

Assistant secretary John East explains: “The CWU negotiating team re-entered discussions adamant that, barring exceptional circumstances, everyone should receive a consolidated rise – especially lower-paid S1 and S2 grade members who make up 80 per cent of the population – and I’m happy to say that is what we have now achieved.”

The revised deal provides for 3 per cent increases for those at the bottom of their pay scales, tapering to 1.5 per cent for those on up to 130 per cent of the mid-point of their pay scale and other highlights include:

  • A guaranteed minimum underpin of £475 consolidated for all S1 and S2 grade employees who are paid up to 130% of their scale midpoint.
  • A flat rate increase of £475 consolidated for all S1’s and S2’s who are already paid more than 130 per cent of their pay scale midpoint.
  • Consolidated pay increases for S3 grade senior managers paid below 110 per cent of the mid point of their salary scale – and a new £300 unconsolidated underpinning payment for anyone paid between 110 and 130 per cent of their scale midpoint.
  • An additional annual leave day for all staff in 2019 – and, from January 1 2020, an additional one day’s annual leave entitlement for all employees with at least five years’ service which they will hold in perpetuity

Following the ratification of the revised offer by all four Santander branch committees, the new deal is being voted on by members in a ballot which commenced on today (March 27).

John East concludes: “The Bank’s improved offer is a testament to the fact that members across Santander UK and San Ops delivered an unequivocal clear message to the Bank that there had to be an improvement to its earlier offer.

“In emphatically rejecting a deal that had been reluctantly recommended to them by the union, because the Bank was unprepared to budge at that time – members were effectively telling the CWU it needed to do better.

“We took that criticism on the chin and went back to the Bank confident that members were solidly behind the harder stance we have taken since – and, to its credit, the Bank has come back with a deal that is far fairer than the original.

“The CWU negotiating team has no hesitation whatsoever in recommending members to vote for this revised offer, and we’d urge members to deliver a resounding ‘Yes’ vote because that will send a clear message to Santander that, when CWU members are convinced something is fair, they will support it.”

Members in Bradford and Carlton Park received their electronic ballot papers on Wednesday (March 27), and votes need to be cast by 10am on Thursday April 4. In Bootle members will vote by secret ballot at a series of workplace meetings scheduled from Wednesday 27th – Thursday 4th April.